Are you an accountable marketer?

I think marketing people get a bad rap and often think that accountability is the root cause.  Too often we use words like “brand building” to mask the fact that we can’t connect some of our activities with tangible results.

Here are some questions to assess how accountable you are as a marketer.

  • Do you do everything you can to track the results of a program (ie coded URLs, special offers, etc)?
  • Do you freely admit when a program was a complete bust even if all the data is not in?
  • Do you create a back of the envelope estimate for the campaign before you start with the creative?
  • Have you sensitivity tested your campaign assumptions based on past program results?
  • Do you ruthlessly remove the worst performing programs from your budget each year?
  • Are you always looking for something that can outperform your tried and true programs?
  • Is your CFO an ally?
  • Does your CEO offer you more budget if you can find positive ROI programs?
  • Do you favor effective over creative?
  • Do you have a bias toward measurable programs?

Did I miss any others? Let me know.

Author: Frank Days

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  1. * Do you *refuse* additional budget if you don’t think your current programs are scalable enough?

  2. Frank,

    Great list! When I was a CFO, the thing marketing folks did which stuck in my craw was gamesmanship. Things like asking intentionally over-requesting on the budget so that they could look heroic when they come in under budget at the end of the year. Or spending excessively and not wisely in Q4 to get the current spending up…which in their mind would justify a higher number the following year. It was tough on me to run a business when my partners were playing games.

  3. I would add, do you ask yourself what constitutes success before a campaign or project begins? Often when I ask if a campaign was successful or not no one knows. I am told the purpose was to build awareness and that ROI is not important (and almost certainly not measured). Further the estimated response rate that was predicted for the campaign was driven by the budget and not the expected relevancy and reach of the campaign. Thus coming in over or under the expected response rate is not a measure of the campaign performance either. Why aren’t CMOs being held accountable?

  4. I totally agree it is about having clear and believable goals before starting a project. I always felt that “we’re building awareness” was an excuse rather than a goal. Sure you need to build awareness but in some businesses the sales cycle is pretty short and people move along the AIDA curve pretty quickly.

    Cash is king these days and ROI heir to the throne.


  1. Try to parry the sword of data and you might get your pixels sliced off - limeduck - [...] or measurement.  “You can’t test brand” “you can’t measure PR” and the like.  Accountable marketers call bullshit on this…

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